Happy Saturday Everyone! I’ve decided on a new feature for 2014 – Snack Saturdays. Every Saturday I’ll feature something I’ve been snacking on, whether it be fancy, like these decadent Pierre Hermè pastries, or simple, like a newly discovered favourite brand of chips. Mostly it’ll be an excuse for me to eat lots of snacks and practice my photography.
I’m starting out my inaugural post with Pierre Hermè. I first tasted the deliciousness of Pierre Hermè in Paris — I had complied a long list of bakeries and Pierre Hermè was on the list. Hermè is renowned for his fanciful macaron flavours (think olive oil and vanilla, matcha and chestnut, or raspberry and lychee) but what really stood out for me were his pastries. I fell in love with his Montebello – a pistachio dacquoise base topped with creamy pistacho cream and ripe, red raspberries. I loved it so much that I created a much simpler pavlova using the same flavours.
Luckily for me the Tokyo branches of Pierre Hermè were having a Montebello festival. They had five different pastries featuring pistachios and strawberries or raspberries. According to their website, the red and green was a Christmas thing. Mike wanted to buy all five pastries, but that was a little extreme, even for me. I settled on two: the classic montebello and a tart montebello.
I love buying pastries in Japan. They’re so meticulous with their packaging and design. First they ask you if you want everything packaged individually or in one box. If you go the one box route, they’ll perfectly fit your pastries with a protective card stock guard (because it’s horrid if your pastries touch one another!) There are specialty slots in the box for the ice packs you need to keep your pastries cool and there’s a little non-stick slip of paper on the bottom of the box that ensures the pastries don’t move around on your train ride home. It’s pretty miraculous because when you get home your pastries look exactly how they did when they were taken out of the case. The downside to the packaging is the waste, but they have a really rigorous recycling program here so I hope that makes up for it.
These guys were absolutely delicious. I was definitely a happy snacker.
Here’s the cross-section of the tart: shortbread outers, a pistachio-almond filling, pistachio mascarpone, and raspberries. At first both Mike and I preferred the tart, mostly based on texture, but by the end of our snacking we agreed that the original Montebello was definitely the way to go.
The cross-section of the original. The first time I had one of these it was topped with raspberries and it was crazy delicious. Strawberries are good too though! And it seems that most montebellos are topped with strawberries now, so maybe my raspberry topped montebello will forever remain a pleasant memory.
I created a montebello monster. Because, yum! What have you guys been snacking on lately?